New course aims to get more doctors and nurses onto hospital boards

The AHSC Leadership Development Programme, which was officially launched last week, is a unique course that will equip senior clinicians with the leadership skills needed to operate effectively at board level and to address key management challenges facing the healthcare system over the next five to ten years.

The programme was developed by Imperial College Academic Health Science Centre (AHSC) - a joint initiative between Imperial College London, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust - in collaboration with the Business School’s Executive Education programme. It was launched at an Imperial reception that took place on Thursday 14 September.

The course supports the government’s wider plan to recruit more clinicians into management roles so they can bring their expertise on clinical care and influence how hospitals are managed. Only 54 per cent of managers in NHS hospitals are clinicians- compared to 74 per cent in Canada and 94 per cent in Sweden.

Speaking at the launch event, Professor Jonathan Weber, Director of Imperial College AHSC, said: “I am pleased to welcome the first cohort of clinical staff to this exciting new initiative.  We have produced a bespoke programme in collaboration with the business school to help our clinical leaders across the AHSC be influential, effective and motivating leaders.  This will help us to deliver high quality patient care and tackle the upcoming challenges facing our hospitals.  This programme is a clear example of the AHSC’s mission to utilise the strengths of Imperial’s facilities, and combine it with the critical mass of our NHS partners in order to deliver excellence in research, education and patient care. Our first participants have already demonstrated excellence within their areas and I am looking forward to seeing how they develop during the programme.”

Ian Dalton CBE, Chief Executive, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “I am delighted to support this unique leadership programme. Healthcare is changing hugely and high quality healthcare depends on clinicians being supported and enabled to take on the most senior leadership roles. This programme has the potential to identify the NHS leaders of tomorrow and equip them to have a positive impact on patient care, experience and outcomes.”

The first cohort of twenty one clinicians from Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, have been selected to take part in the one-year programme which will conclude with a graduation ceremony in May 2018.

The programme consists of six modules and will be delivered by academics at the business school. Some of the topics that participants will learn about include how to be influential on boards, how to lead teams effectively and how to foster a high performing innovative culture.

There will also be opportunities for participants to receive practical experience by attending board meetings, shadowing senior board members and receiving three sessions of one on one coaching.   

Participants will also work collaboratively on a real-time strategic or operational business project. 

Providing development opportunities for clinical staff is a key mission of Imperial AHSC, a joint initiative between Imperial College London, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. It aims to transform healthcare by turning scientific discoveries into medical advances to benefit local, national and global populations in as fast a timeframe as possible.